Double Comparative

by Craig Shrives

What Is a Double Comparative? (with Examples)

A double comparative is a grammar mistake caused by applying two ways of forming a comparative instead of one. Double comparatives are most commonly committed when someone uses "-er" and "more" at the same time (e.g., more taller).
double comparative examples

Easy Examples of Double Comparatives

  • He is more wiser than the teachers.
  • (should be wiser)
  • Flossy is more quicker than Susan.
  • (should be quicker)

Real-Life Examples of Double Comparatives

The rules for forming comparatives are quite complicated, but let's look at a few of the common ways to create a comparative so we can talk about the mistake known as a double comparative. The comparative form of lots of adjectives is created either by adding the suffix -er or by placing more or less before. You can't do both. That's a serious mistake called a double comparative.
  • You're considerably more richer than George.
  • (should be richer)
  • I'm more affluenter than you.
  • (should be more affluent)
  • You're even more stupider than you look.
  • (This should be more stupid or stupider (which is an acceptable alternative) but definitely not more stupider.)
Many adjectives that end -y, change the y to an i before adding the suffix -er. You can't do this and use more as well.
  • Ireland is more windier than England.
  • (should be windier)
  • Ice-cream is more tastier than sorbet.
  • (should be tastier)
A few common adjectives have specific comparative forms (e.g., good becomes better, and bad becomes worse). You see double comparatives with these too.
  • I'm more better than you.
  • I'm betterer than you.
  • (should be better in both examples)
  • I'm more worse than you.
  • I'm worser than you.
  • (should be worse in both examples)
The examples above are all double comparatives of adjectives. Occasionally, you see double comparatives with adverbs too.
  • We have loads of chickens now because our rooster can run more faster than our hens.
  • (should be faster)
Read more about forming comparatives. Double comparatives are far more common in speech than in writing. In speech, they are often forgivable because they can usually be dismissed as a slip of the tongue. In writing, however, a double comparative is a serious mistake.

Forming comparatives correctly is covered in the comparatives lesson.

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See Also

What is a double superlative? What is a double negative? What is degree? Forming comparatives What are comparatives? What is a suffix? Glossary of grammatical terms

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